Bridgeport social worker wrongfully charged with burglary has charges dropped; lawyer commends officer

The warrant charged Da'ee McKnight with third-degree burglary, claiming he had crawled through a window at the PT Barnum Apartments, among other things.

News 12 Staff

Feb 15, 2023, 5:13 PM

Updated 463 days ago

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A prominent member of the Bridgeport community is sharing his story after police say he was wrongfully charged with burglary and other crimes.
"I try my best to be a pillar in the community and stand up for what's right," said Da'ee McKnight.
The 55-year-old is a well-known social worker whose job is to help people who are coming home from prison.
The U.S. Army veteran says he got quite a shock last week when the Connecticut Department of Correction red-flagged him last week while he was going about his duties working with inmates and returning citizens. He was told a warrant has been out for his arrest since January 2022.
"I said, 'You've got to be joking,'" he said. "So, I'm like puzzled. I'm like, 'What the heck happened here?'"
The warrant charged McKnight with third-degree burglary, claiming he had crawled through a window at the PT Barnum Apartments, among other things.
"The allegations are he's climbing through a window and burglarizing someplace. You know that doesn't possibly fit his character," said McKnight's lawyer, Darnell Crosland.
Crosland, joined by Council Member Fred Hodges and other prominent community members, says he went to the Bridgeport Police Department Tuesday and demanded an explanation.
He says body cam video shows a man on the right who was stopped by police, while McKnight is seen on the left. Crosland says he insisted police play the video and compare the men's voices.
"They came back, and they said, 'Oh, we played the tape and we heard your voice,and it's clearly not you,'" Crosland said.
The attorney said police then dropped the charge against McKnight.
"It could have ended his career. It could have ended him as a pillar in the community," said Hodges.
Police Chief Roderick Porter said, "I see this as a positive story because the Bridgeport Police Department did its due diligence and vacated the charges, when we had a signed warrant and could have let the matter go through the courts."
McKnight says he's just glad it's all behind him.
"But how about the many others who don't have advocacy, who aren't as visible as he is? They just go through the system," said Crosland. "This story is so much bigger than Mr. McKnight -- and that's why we're here today."
Crosland thanked Bridgeport Police Lt. Chris Lemaine, who he says "stepped up to help right this terrible wrong." He says Lemaine is "a great example of what American policing needs to start looking like."


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